Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1916/who is Aled J?

Posted by ilancaron on February 22nd, 2009


A typical Azed outing involving quality time with The Big Red Book: a couple of wordplays still to be decoded and the requisite mystery clue. Thanks to Andrew all is clear now!


6 SCOTERS – T in scores*
11 RONEO – replace middle of Romeo with N for a type of ancient copying machine.
12 P(HAR,A)OH – rev(rah) in HOP
13 ARDENTIA VERBA – (air brave Dante)* – Latin for “words that burn”.
14 PEN NIBS – the well-known compound not in Chambers. They are dipped in ink. PEN is our female swan.
16 S,AMOS – ref. AMOS the Hebrew prophet.
18 TILTED – titled (as a lord) with centre shifted.
19 LATTICELEAF – (a cattle fiel[d])* – it’s a plant from Madagascar.
21 ARGAN,D – it’s an oil-lamp and ARGAN is an oil-bearing seed (interestingly unrelated).
24 AD,RED – Spenserian afraid and RED is redd is tidy up.
25 ELOG(IS)T – incorrectly enumerated as (13, 2 words) and I don’t see anymore how the EIST is generated from “… once failed to gel encompassing lives?” — I think I did last Sunday when I solved it. I guess I didn’t — Andrew points out it’s IS in (to gel)* and an archaic elegist. Whoops.
28 ANAL RETENTIVE – (trait an eleven)* – a term describing a healthy portion of the people reading this (and yes writing this).
29 VIRE,TOT – Chaucerian “rush” and VIRE is a financial term describing a kind of transfer to balance a deficit (hmm… can you say electronic vire?)
30 PEK(O)E – PEKE is our Chinese export (as in pekinese) but PEKOE’s our local tea I guess.
31 E(SER[a])INE – physostigmine — where EINE is archaic eyes.
32 ALDERN – Darnel*: related to alder.


1 KRAB – rev(bark=quest). Short for karabiner.
2 V(ORP)AL – Lewis Carroll invention for “nonsense”: rev(pro) in rev(lav).
3 END,A,MAGE – damage and MAGE’s our sorcerer.
5 HATE – “aversion” – compound anagram where therapist* = (HATE, trips)*.
6 S,PINK – a PINK is a “small carnation” and SPINK is “cuckoo flower”.
7 C(H)ANTER – I found this a very difficult clue – pibroch is a bagpipe tune type of thing and a CHANTER is the actual pipe.
8 TREBLE-DATED – “living three times as long as man”: DATED is “old-fashioned” but can someone help decode TREBLE = “E.g. Aled J., formerly”? Aled Jones is according to Andrew a well-known (… OK…) Welsh treble (singer).
9 ROB(L)E – L in rev(ebor) — where Ebor is short for Eboracum (York) thus “handicap” I suppose and the whole thing is a type of oak.
10 S(H)ARDED – H in adder’s* — meaning “sheltered under dung” where midden is a “dunghill”. A dirty clue indeed! (and quite different from how here at Google we use sharded, basically as a synonym for partitioned).
15 S(TAR*,L)IKE – yes Spenser would have to spell sic (thus “such”) SIKE.
16 S(EA,W)AVE – EA for “river” and W for “width” and SAVE for “except”.
17 WIDGEON – (winged, o)*
20 F(ERV)OR – Obama’s spelling of “fervour” (unlike Clinton he went to Harvard not Oxford) and what he’s inspired. ERV are endogenous retroviruses.
22 RANIS – hidden in Lutheranism.
23 FITTE[r] – “what regular exercise makes you?” is FITTER so “mostly” removes the final letter and FITTE is an archaic song, thus “strain for oldies”.
26 SE(N)A – “Indian army”
27 ?EEN – our mystery clue: “One’s never given up – even in the last one?” Again Andrew: it’s rev(ne’er=never)=REEN, a ditch, as in a last ditch attempt.  At one point, I had considered REEN but I couldn’t make the definition work.  Not surprised.

6 Responses to “Azed 1916/who is Aled J?”

  1. Andrew says:

    Hi Ilan, thanks for this.

    8dn – Aled Jones was a famous treble when he was a boy, particularly known for singing “Walking in the air”, though he didn’t sing the version in the film of “The Snowman”.

    25ac should be ELOGIST – IS in (TO GEL)*

  2. Andrew says:

    And 27dn is REEN – NE’ER reversed, and it means a ditch, so the reference is to “last ditch attempt”.

  3. chunter says:

    7d: in the comment ‘pilbroch’ should be ‘pibroch’.

  4. ilancaron says:

    Thanks Chunter! (I can see with a name like that you’d have a vested interest in fixing issues having to do with chanter).

  5. bridgesong says:

    Pen-nibs is in earlier editions of Chambers, until at least as recently as 1993, although there is no definition given (its meaning presumably being considered obvious).

  6. Alan O'Brien says:

    I had an unusual experience with this one; normally I have to toil quite hard to get off the mark with Azed. But with this one I got KVETCH straight away; instantly. I used the word a few years ago at a chess site: I wrote that David Bronstein is a great player but a terrible kvetch. It’s funny because it was true.

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